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Avoid Foods with Artificial Coloring for Better Health

feng shui foodsA few months ago, I discussed eating foods that correspond with the elemental colors to improve the health vitality of the organs in your body. For instance, red foods (like apples) are good for your heart, while green foods, like spinach and broccoli, help your liver regenerate. You can learn more about the best Feng Shui foods for your heart, lungs and more in this article.

For Food, Natural Colors Are Healthy Colors
But healthy colors for foods apply only when we are talking about a food's natural color. Not only do artificially colored foods not have the same benefits to the corresponding organs, there's evidence they may be bad for your health.

For a long time, it's been known that certain artificial dyes -- used to help processed foods look more appealing and sell better -- cause allergies in a small group of people. But the results of a new study, detailed in a press release from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit consumer watchdog organization, show certain artificial dyes can be extremely dangerous, causing a number of health problems, including cancer and hyperactivity in children.

Common Artificial Dyes Contain Traces of Carcinogens
According to the report, FDA tests show that the three most-widely used dyes -- Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 -- are tainted with low levels of cancer-causing compounds and were shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Tests on lab animals of Blue 1, Blue 2, and Green 3 also showed signs of causing cancer.

Additional studies have shown that many dyes cause hyperactivity in children.

Natural Colorings an Alternative
Natural colorings exist that could take the place of these potentially deadly chemicals and are already widely in use in Britain and the rest of Europe. Beet juice, beta-carotene, blueberry juice concentrate, carrot juice, and purple sweet potato are just a few of the fruit- and vegetable-based colorings that could make foods equally pleasing to the eye.

Read Labels Carefully
For now, anyone looking to eat a healthy diet and avoid artificial food dyes for themselves or their children should read labels of processed foods carefully. If a product has artificial dye of any type, it's best to avoid it.  I also like the advice offered by the Fooducate blog, a blog designed to help people make healthier food choices: “If a product is too bright and colorful, and it’s not a fresh fruit or veggie, be suspicious.”

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